Finding Your Voice
Book Power – Finding Your Voice By Writing A Book
Have you ever wanted to write a book?
For over 2 years the universe has nudged me to write 2 books. In 2011 I attended Hay House’s I Can Do it Conference and listened intently as Cheryl Richardson and Reid Tracy reviewed the steps to get published at Hay House. I listened and felt my heart sink lower and lower realizing that with where I was, I would never be considered as a Hay House Writer. In a nutshell, you had to have an established audience beofre a publsiher will consider you. You had to have a platform to speak and sell your book from. A publisher, of course, is in the business of selling books, so it looks for authors that are in a position to most successfully achieve that goal.
For the last 2 years, I’ve slowly pulled together some research on how i can get my book out there. I’ve written a book outline and I’ve written my first draft. Now that I am finally diving in and committing to finish writing this book by the end of May, it’s like a gift from the universe that I’ve connected with Kytka Hilmar-Jezek, the author of Book Power.
Kytka Hilmar-Jezek is the bestselling author of Reiki for Children, Born To Learn, The Waldorf Community Exchange, Waldorf Talk Series and Book Power. She is dedicated to assisting you harness your full potential. Kytka speaks globally, teaching people how to write a book and use it to brand and position themselves and construct a platform. In all of her books, she applies her expertise & credentials as a Master Practitioner of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), Dr. of Naturopathy, Reiki Master, Entrepreneur, Childbirth Educator, Waldorf Homeschooling Guru, Personal Development Coach and Thought Leader.
Kytka is a Dr. of Naturopathy and has a background in natural health, energy medicine and Reiki. She is the author of the bestselling book Reiki for Children and several other books on the subject or raising children consciously, holistically and unschooled. Today she is here to talk to us about her latest book Book Power: A Platform for Writing, Branding, Positioning & Publishing. This title sounds out of her usual genre so I was interested in why she wanted to write this particular book.
Q – Tell us how you came to be inspired to write Book Power?
Kytka – Hello Jennifer, I am so pleased to be here today! I wrote Reiki for Children 15 years ago. I self published and at that time there was no social media to promote. Those who chose to self publish were pretty much scorned by any book review sites and getting exposure and selling books was quite difficult. I wrote the book because my son had a question and no book existed to answer the question. It was written in 3 days and has since been answering the same question my son asked for many others. It feels really good because I did not set out to write for the money, I set out to write to help someone find an answer. A lot has changed since then and fortunately people who have something to say now have numerous avenues how to share their messages. In entrepreneurial workshops and seminars I held I would discuss the residual royalty income from my books and how being an author has helped open doors to numerous opportunities. People began to ask me how I do it, so again – a question was asked, so I provided the answer.
Q – So what you’re saying is that self publishing is easier now than it was then?
Kytka – Exactly. I had to pay a lot of money and I had very little control over the final result of what my book would look like and how to access it. Back then, my royalty payment on my $18.95 book was approx. .80 cents per book. It took almost a year to get it on Amazon. The publisher launched it with formatting and cover I did not like. It was too expensive and more importantly, it would have taken the book off the market for another 6-8 months to make the changes. Today many of the traditional publishing houses are offering a self publishing wing of their services because they know they had better get in the game or lose customers. People like Jack Canfield, who I’m sure you know did the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, was rejected something like 130 times with traditional publishers. He finally self published and then went on to best selling success. Many others followed suit and Amazon announced CreateSpace. Today you can write your book, go to CreateSpace, upload your pdf file and have your book listed in 24 hours. You can have a physical copy in your hands in just a few days. They make it affordable and even have a free option where you get an ISBN number and they are listed as your publisher.
The royalty rate is much higher – I now receive $8.58 per book sold on Amazon and $4.79 if a book stores orders a copy. If I sell the books myself through my CreateSpace store, I make $12.37 per book. Once my book is available on Amazon, it’s just a matter of weeks before you see it at Barnes & Noble and other book sellers.
What has happened in the last 10 years is that technology and our need to be social has opened the doors to making our voices heard. Blogger and WordPress opened the gates to millions of new sites where people share and many are growing huge lists of followers. They are literally building tribes who were attracted to their unique voice and way of sharing. If they are already communicating online, the next natural step is a book. A book is the perfect vehicle for sharing your voice.
Q – How do you mean?
Kytka – Well, let’s take this example, some people believe that a book is the new business card, and there is some truth to that, but to stop there is a mistake. What a book really does is build the relationship. It builds trust and intimacy which are crucial if you want to have a relationship with your audience and your clients. When you hand a potential customer your book you are giving them 150 pages of your thoughts, ideas, and message. They gain intimacy from knowing who you are, understanding how you communicate and connecting with your message. They feel connected to you and trust forms. While others are losing trust by creating bogus opt-in gifts and then killing their lists with mass mailings, the author is allowing the customer to come when ready. So a book is never just about the book or royalties, it is about growing your business by sharing who you are in a more intimate way which builds trust and credibility. If you plan and structure your book as a business tool this becomes very powerful.
Q – My readers are primarily interested in spiritual and physical wellness and improving the environment. Knowing this, how can writing a book help them?
Kytka – When I practiced energy medicine, there were so many people who had serious blockages in the Visuddha chakra – the 5th or throat chakra. The throat chakra is the centre that governs all of our speech and how we creatively express ourselves. It is where we can purify ourselves and where energy is transformed into manifestation. If this chakra is clear, we have success. If there are blockages in this chakra, we manifest failure. If there is anything which remains unspoken in our lives, it clogs and blocks the throat chakra and energy no longer flows.
So how does this relate to a book? In Book Power I refer to finding and expressing your unique voice, over and over. Whether we have clients that want questions answered, or we have a deeply personal story of overcoming, transformation, healing or forgiveness – it is through the act of speaking our truth that cleansing of this chakra occurs. Many people have difficulty speaking and then feel even worse after trying to express their genuine essence. (Afterwards they beat themselves up for not expressing things the way they imagined them in their head, and so forth.) When they can communicate through a book and they use their unique voice, their pure essence shines through. They end up cleansing and clearing the chakra and simultaneously attracting the exact clients, readers or followers who energetically resonate with their message.
Q – I have never heard anyone speak of a book, especially one that appears more to be a book on marketing and branding, in this manner before. Can you share more?
Kytka – Absolutely! Chakras are all associated with colors and the throat chakra is blue. If I find that a student is “stuck” in wanting to share their voice, I immediately recognize other symptoms of Visuddha blockages. When I have a private moment, I will ask them to sit outside on a nice blue sky day with their recorders and speak their books into being. Usually, they are doing this process after creating their outlines and lists of questions, so they know what they need to talk about. I ask them to envision themselves as sharing from their deepest core, their truth, wisdom and integrity. What is the very best that they have to share? What has the most value? When they are conscious of the process as a healing release to the blockages they can affirm that as they create their books, the book becomes symbolic of powerful transformation. They work through it as a healing process as well as a creative process.
After the process, the benefits to the author are twofold. They receive an opening of the throat chakra, the place from which we speak our truth and a deeper understanding of their own inherent worth and value. This of course has the wonderful side effects of confidence, self esteem and renewed enthusiasm for their business. They begin to share their book with the world and this in turn opens doors to interviews, media, and more clients. It begins stacking in benefits which outweigh keeping the information locked inside.
It’s very powerful because they gain immense clarity from the process of creating a book. Another benefit has to do with relieving stress. There is so much information today that people tend to go into overwhelm. They lose focus and they lack any cohesive strategy. They are confused about their own framework. Things move fast and we’ve been told to “fake it ‘til you make it” or “do it like they do it”. We find ourselves under immense stress and pressure. In truth, what truly sets us apart in today’s marketplace is the honesty and authenticity of being real and being “you”. That is where the real value lies because each person is unique.
Q – I am beginning to understand the power of a book. Who do you believe should write a book?
Kytka – I believe that everyone should write a book and I encourage everyone I meet to do so. It’s an amazing tool for anyone with a business or service. It’s a powerful exercise and discipline for young adults. It’s a great way to document life story, traditions or memories for elderly folks and for everyone else; it helps bring clarity and cleansing. We speak of de-cluttering our lives and that resonates with people. What if I told you creating a book is like de-cluttering your mind.
Most people do not write for one reason and they all share the same excuse “I’d love to write a book but I just don’t have the time!”. In Book Power I gamify the process and I share the secrets all of the bestselling authors use. Most of them do not even write their books. Do you know they record themselves speaking? They do! Then they have their recordings transcribed and once the transcriptions come back they go in to edit, add and fill in. They use their transcriptions to build upon and expand.
I share a process for keeping content separate and then putting it together like a puzzle. First you create your edges and then fill in the middle. Book Power explains this process and once they understand the process, myths like “writer’s block” just disappear. Of course it’s difficult to sit at a keyboard and stare blankly at the screen. There is so much in front of you that you just stop due to overwhelm. You begin to think “I am not a writer” and that is what you get.
This is precisely why I ask you to begin with creating the outline by asking the questions your customers ask. Then you build what I call the framework which consists of all of the other pages; the dedication, acknowledgements, introduction, conclusion, information page, resources, and so on. After that you record, transcribe and plug in the chapter content. When that is complete, you print your manuscript and read through it seeing what you’ve missed. Once again, you record yourself answering all of those questions or expanding on those important points. When you set out to complete specific missions and play the writing of your book like a fun game, the stress and overwhelm disappear and you discover that all you are doing is what you do every day – sharing your message and your passion.
The majority of my students are writing non-fiction. You must understand a book is a powerful business building tool so I also cover marketing, building a platform and using the book as a lead generation and positioning tool. The information and process can easily be transferred to fiction writers as well. It’s the gamified and playful way of doing it that works. I have found myself helping people to shift from stuck to results my entire life and I am always looking for the tools to make that transformation happen. When I asked myself the question “where is the answer to helping people express themselves through a book?” I could not find it. So, much like Reiki for Children, I wrote Book Power to help people. My passion lies in helping people voice themselves and a book is the perfect tool to do just that.